Europe styrene values drop after sharp spike last week

18 November 2011 11:29  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Following a spike for November styrene pricing late last week, European numbers appear to be in freefall as market fundamentals take hold, sources said on Friday.

Delayed production restarts this month and the late arrival of imports managed to catch several players out last week, and November numbers rose from $1,380/tonne (€1,021/tonne) at the beginning of the week to $1,600/tonne, which was traded late on 11 November.

However, after several days of inactivity earlier this week, price ideas began to rapidly drop on Thursday afternoon.

Offers were heard at $1,475/tonne, while bids had fallen back down to the $1,350/tonne mark. A deal for prompt delivery was later heard at $1,450/tonne.

“There seems to be a lot of product booked from the US with no place to go now,” said one trader. “You do feel some [price] softening when you talk to other traders – they are very open to sell.”

With demand slowing down ahead of year-end and feedstock benzene currently trading at its lowest level since September 2010, a sharp correction following last week’s spike felt inevitable.

One major consumer said that following last week’s sharp gains, the key was to get current European prices to “a sensible level reflecting business and economics.”

On Friday morning, however, firm numbers for November material were few and far between.

One trader said: “The market is quiet so far. There are no buyers looking to cover prompt positions right now.”

($1 = €0.74)

For more on benzene and styrene visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Truong Mellor
+44 208 652 3214

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